April 13, 2009

The Miracle at Naples - Your Comments

Here is where YOU get to comment about your experience at The Miracle at Naples.


Love is a central theme in The Miracle at Naples and the message is delivered with humor. How did the play tickle your funny bone and tug at your heartstrings? What moments did you most identify with?

While the play is set in 1580's Italy, with the roots of it's style in Comedia dell'Arte, there are also lots of modern influences and colloquialisms mixed in. Did you feel the stamp of other comedy styles in this piece? How did this mix help tell the story?


Did you stay after the performance at the Calderwood Lounge to discuss the play with fellow audience members?


Cast members Pedro Pascal, Lucy DeVito, and Christina Pumariega mingle with patrons at the Calderwood Lounge following a preview performance of The Miracle at Naples

Click here to comment

The Miracle at Naples, a world premiere by David Grimm, directed by Peter DuBois, April 3 through May 9, 2009 at the Huntington Theatre Company's second stage: the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA.
Buy tickets online or call 617 266-0800. Photos: T. Charles Erickson.

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you like bawdy humor and street theatre,that hearkens both to Vaudeville, Shakespeare and Commedia dell'arte, you'll love "The Miracle at Naples". The characters romp within the play within the play but they also grow and change. Not a slow moment in the evening. Dick Latessa as Don Bertolino stands out. But everyone shines. Lucy DeVito can scald the paint off a fresco. Pure enjoyment!

Anonymous said...

I laughed as much as I have in the theatre in a long time. It's sometimes dirty and very funny. Worth the trip to Boston from the Cape. Had a great time!

Greg Flynn said...

"The Miracle at Naples" was one of the best evenings in theatre I've had in a long time. Terrific acting. The bawdy humor (side-splitting)-- the double-entendres, the commedia dell'arte, the gay sub-plot---all woven together marvelously. If Mr. DuBois does all plays at this level, his tenure will be the greatest!

Anonymous said...

Saw the Sat April 11 matinee performance. Bawdy, hilarious, lots of belly laughs, beautifully written, wise, and extremely well-acted by the whole troupe. The duenna and the tiny daughter steal the show. Set is gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

You must be kidding. I almost walked out after the first act, but (wrongly) figured it had to get better. This was one of the worst plays I have ever seen professionally performed, written on a high school level, and an embarrassment to the actors

Anonymous said...

This play was a great surprise and pushed outside the Huntington's tendency to choose more mainstream, play-it-safe subject matter. I loved the juxtaposition of mixed language styles reminding the audience that the sacred and profane share a very cramped space. In addition, the set design was fantastic. People applauded the minute the curtain came up.

Anonymous said...

Just not very good. The play was sort of cute for a few minutes, but then it was the same joke over and over and over. Very unsatisfying.

Anonymous said...

I loved the performance of "Miracle at Naples.". Your actors are top notch. I am from New York City, but I couldn't have enjoyed theatre more anywhere else. I especially enjoyed the daughter who was trying to get her Pop to give her a name.Anytime I come to Boston I will include a night at your theater. I am recommending you to friends.

Anonymous said...

In extreme bad taste, but very funny. We were thinking of leaving after the first act, but glad we didn't.
In the bawdy genre this was far superior to that dog, Betty's Summer Vacation or the trash they produce at ART.

Anonymous said...

Attended Apr 5th and had one of the most enjoyable nites at the theatre! Set design was vibrant and SO were the actors. Fast paced, funny, bawdy, and poignant. Loved the Calderwood ambience. Thank you all for a great time!

Charlie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Best play of the season. It provided humor and an escape from reality. Those subscribers who might have been offended should not be of concern ... they are dying out and do not provide a future for the Huntington.

Anonymous said...

In response to the person who said it was "high school theatre"... just because it uses low brow comedy and physical commedic antics doesn't make it less valuable as a play or not fit for a professional theatre comedy. In his day, even our lauded Shakespere used sex jokes and "gross-out" humor (most were word play that modern audiences miss). Most theatre has roots in bawdy, fun, and silly street theatre that was popular and not held to some false standard of what is "worthy" of the theatre. I think Grimm's play is a wonderful way to bring theatre back to a sense of fun and joy. If that is "high school" to you, take me back to grade 12!

judy said...

My group of seniors did not like it all.It was too gratuditous and childish,,almost embarassinglly kindergarten humor,,We thought that unnecessary for the essence of real comedy..like " i was not born,,but farted"

We felt insulted by the continuous dirty words as if they had to be injected to keep us alert and interested which is not the case. Going to the lowest level need not happen in theater and it debases the very heart of the dramatic arts.

Anonymous said...

I thought the actors were wonderful and did the very best with what also believe to be a sophomoric script. It was fun for the first 20 minutes and then I was bored. The set design and the lighting was also good.

On the whole I have been terribly disappointed with this season's selection of plays.

Anonymous said...

There is no question that those comments lauding the show MUST come from the actors and theater management. This show is a bomb. A real dog. I too, nearly walked out at intermission and am sorry that I didn't. Two people behind me did! It wasn't he subject matter that was disturbing, just the intense boredom. I am an avid theater goer and usually find some good in a play, but the only positive thing I can say concerns the set. It was quite impressive.I would say that this was the lousiest show I've seen in quite some time. And when you add in the ticket price the value is simply not there.

Anonymous said...

Lively production of a mediocre text. Not enough there to keep me interested in characters or plot.

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with those panning this production. It was not funny, original, thought-provoking, or particularly well-done other than the scenery which was great. Have come to expect more from the Huntington where we've been season ticket holders for many, many years. This was the worst.

dgwrites said...

I am a longtime subscriber and have very much enjoyed this year's season at the Huntington, but HATED, LOATHED Naples! "Bawdy" is too mild of a word to describe what was utterly vulgar and offensive -- the lowest of low brow humor. As a lover of literature and language, I did not find anything clever or brilliant in the dialog, even though the PR machine had trumpeted it as such. Naples cannot be compared with Shakespeare or any of the bawdy and truly funny plays of that genre of comedy. It takes a lot of chutzpah to try to elevate this weak play, that tries to make us laugh by shocking us with dirty language (practically holds up a cue card "laugh" to the audience), to the level of Shakespeare or Sheridan. I hope that this is not a new direction being followed by the Huntington, because then we will have to consider if our big investment in tickets, the time to travel into town and the cost of dinner and parking is worth it anymore.

Anonymous said...

As a long time subscriber, I was really disappointed with The Miracle at Naples. The actors tried their best, the set was great, but the play itself was not strong. I understood what the author was trying for, but the pace was too labored and the dialogue too ponderous for a comedy. The author seemed to be trying to put too much into what should have been fun. It reminded me of a student effort rather than the level we have some to expect from the Huntington. Lots of editing is needed and the actors need to act in harmony. The whole homo-erotic thing seemed thrown in to be schocking? or topical? or what and did not flow as it should have for example in Shakespeare.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed parts of the performance. I see no need to use vulgar language and I think this went a bit overboard. The acting was not consistent- some actors were really terrific- the mother and daughter were fabulous- I would rate it a C+.

Anonymous said...

This show was unbelievable. Unbelievably AMAZING. And those offended by its material haven't apparently watched any prime time TV in the last 20 years! This PALES in comparison.

SEE THIS SHOW. I'm not in any way affiliated with the Huntington; I'm a Boston attorney in my 50's and I saw the show on a whim with my wife and her professor colleagues. And we all LOVED it. Especially the performances of the beautiful young woman who played Flaminia and her doting nurse.

I had seen two plays last season at the Huntington after adoring reviews by one Louise Kennedy. Both disappointed. But after this colorful, truthful, worldly romp, we're planning to sign up for next year's season!!!

This play turns form on its head and provides something for everyone! BRAVA to the Huntington and this astounding team of artists! PLEASE keep plays like this coming...The other ones of late under Martin's tenure were putting me to sleep.

Janet Y. said...

I enjoyed the whole show. It was bawdy, yes, but in what I found to be a non-offensive way. The thing I found most striking was the way the love blossoms between the two men. It was so touching and sweet, so innocent for two who celebrate degeneracy. That's the love affair I find sticking in my memory most--those two old "friends" finding each other as lovers. It was a wonderful show!

Anonymous said...

NOT GREAT A VERY DUMB AND JUVENILE KIND OF HUMOR,,NOT EVEN CLEVER.. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? WE WILL BE WARY OF COMEDIES LIKE THIS IN THE FUTURE..WE STAYED UNTIL THE END,,HOPING IT WOULD IMPROVE A BIT WHICH IT DID, BUT DO NOT RECOMMEND IT TO OTHERS OF ANY AGE.

Anonymous said...

Sophmoric sums it up. The set was great, the acting was good, but the play was just awful. Given this season's productions, I'm questioning the direction of the Huntington.

Anonymous said...

I loved it. And what's more: I love the fact that people feel nothing but strongly about it. They either hate it or they adore it. Something to be said about a "dying art."

One thing you can't assign to this play is indifference.

Anonymous said...

THIS PLAY IS HILARIOUS.

Just like Lucy Devito promised, we "laughed our asses off!!!!!!"

Latesa was wonderful as always. And the young women in the cast are just spectacular. What a great story for all ages. Finally, the Huntington provides something real.

Thanks again,
Bob and Mattie

Anonymous said...

The set was amazing, the show moved right along but the gay/bisexual subplot was not necessary. I don't see it added anything to the show. I saw many patrons wince when the 2 guys got into a serious liplock and then leave at intermission. It was a total distraction and added nothing to an otherwise well acted play. Not being homophobic, just didn't see it as useful for the story line.

Anonymous said...

Good show! It gets off to a "slow" start, but those who stick around for the second half will be glad they did!

Anonymous said...

When I first experienced the stage setting after the curtain rise, I was mesmerized. It was the most impressive scenery I had ever seen on stage.
That was it though, for good impressions. I felt from the beginning, that between the troupe dancing and the script,there was nothing to grasp. It felt forced; nothing flowed.It seemed to me that one person did 90% of the laughing. I left at the break.

Anonymous said...

I found it jarring to have 20th or 21st century attitudes set in the 16th century.

Anonymous said...

One of the worst - boring, not witty or bawdy. Great production values and acting, but terrible play. Unfortunately, that's often the case...

the Quitts said...

We left at the intermission. The play was as pointless as we had feared.

Some people around us laughed and we were certain that our three-year-oldgranddaughter would have enjoyed it. The acting, with one glaring excelption, was excellent but wasted. The one moment that was worthwhile was Dick Latessa's take on three European nationalities. It had some wit.
Without the promise that a similar moment was forthcoming after the break, we left.

Peter Dubois's choice of materials this year has been most disappointing. The kind of comedy he likes to direct is farce. Fine for some, not for us.

We read in the Times today about an O'Beill festival at the Goodman. Ah, to be living in Chicago.

the Quitts

Nancy & Michael said...

As long time subscribers we expect to be disappointed with a few shows, but sadly this transcended disappointment. We left at intermission with much of our row (none of whom we knew). The show had such a build up as the "world premiere" and the artistic director's debut that I was hopeful I would find it funny and fun. Neither happened. This year has been very uneven, but we did renew with hopes of improvements next season.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous on the 16th said it all. Unlike that blogger, we did leave after the first act. There is just so much one can bear. We left the ART years ago when they went down this road, let us hope the Huntington does not follow. Art is beautiful, trash is not.

Just think, I picked this play over Pirates because I thought Pirates would be be too sophomoric. How wrong I was. 8th graders would love this and to some extent directed and produced in this play.

A subscriber who emailed Todd said...

The staging was excellent, although the patron saint looked like the Jolly Green Giant with a bishop's miter.

One word captures the play: DUD! It wasn't funny or clever--just a lot of foul language and shouting. We had one or two snickers, but no "belly laughs." Ms DeVito was a disappointment. Her repeated lines showed very little talent. Shame!

We hope "Pirates" rescues our membership in the Huntington.

Anonymous said...

This was simply the worst excuse for theatre we have seen in years. It was poorly written and poorly performed. Subscriptions will be cancelled as a result of this performance as theatre goers make choices in a difficult economy. This was a waste of money and time.

Anonymous said...

The curtain rose at 2;03 PM and I left at 2:27 PM.
I like a little raunch but this was tooo silly for my tastes. Beautiful Set as usual for the Huntington.anonymous

Anonymous said...

I found the first half of the season, through The Corn is Green, to be very exciting and enjoyable. Two Gentlemen was a tad boring, although I had great interest in seeing the play based on what I had read in advance. The Miracle at Naples was just plain vulgar, not the least bit funny to me -- a most disappointing and disturbing evening at the theater. All of the explicit references to sodomy were totally unnecessary, what I would call "over the top." It seems this humor appeals to a small, but appreciative contingent. Perhaps the play would be better staged in a small comedy club or other such venue where alcohol is served, rather than in a larger theater. Even though the Calderwood is small, to my mind it was too big for this base humor.

Sarah said...

I really enjoyed this play. I don't shock easily, but some lines managed it! I didn't think the swearing and vulgar language was gratuitous at all, it just reminded me that people in the Renaissance were people, not paintings come to life or paragons of virtue. I loved the set, I loved the costumes, and the actors were terrific. The script was not perfect, but there were some very funny moments. I think my favorite thing about this play was that not every character had a happy ending, which I think is what the audience expects and is safe. I was prepared for Matteo to be dead, and felt heartsick for Tristano. Don Bertolino and Francescina part ways, GianCarlo and La Piccola will plague each other for all the rest of their days, and Flaminia's eyes are opened. Overall, this show is a fun way to spend an evening and also makes you think.

Anonymous said...

Please, no more plays like "The Miracle at Naples." I gave up my ART subscription years ago. Who goes to the theatre for crude, vulgar comedy like this? I expect better of the Huntington - consider "The Rabbit Hole," "Mauritius" to name a couple of great plays that really stick. And I thought the comedic, "Betty's Summer Vacation" was hilarious! "The Miracle at Naples" was not bawdy, it was in very poor taste, and I hope NOT the direction that the Huntington is taking for future productions.
Yes, the set was great, yes, the actors were good. But no standing ovation for a reason! I feel sorry for actors when they are given such a script! They deserve better.

Anonymous said...

I liked this show very much. Despite it bawdiness (which was very funny) what impressed and moved me was the play's subtly subversive quality. Imagine: a play that ends with the only couple who seems happy is the two men! Now THAT is modern -- more modern than many modern plays. Witty and thought-provoking. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely loved this show. We are Huntington subscribers and have enjoyed all of the plays we've seen this season, but this was by far my favorite. The humor was outrageous and the timing was impeccable-not easy to do, but the talented ensemble made it look simple. Each character was fully developed and perfectly cast. And the set - I have never seen a more exquisite stage design. We laughed out loud - what a great night of theater. It was terrific!

Anonymous said...

We are subscribers. This play was the first in three years that we thought was a waste of time. We left at intermission. We both thought the acting was poor, except maybe by the oldest man. The bawdiness didn't work as humor for us, mainly because of the production. Do agree that the set was very well done.

Anonymous said...

You asked...I didn't offer.

This may be the worst play I have ever seen. The fault lies with the author, who has no talent, insights, wit or style. I cannot figure out why anyone would write such garbage - or why anyone would insult an audience by allowing it to be performed.

At intermission, I asked two employees if the second half improved on the first. Both suggested I stay to see the resolution, saying 'I really enjoyed it.'

Both were wrong. You might want to hire new employees.

Terrible does not do this play justice.

I wonder now about the quality of other plays at the Huntington.

Terrible play. Terrible marketing for you. An all around terrible afternoon.

Thanks for asking.

Anonymous said...

"miracle at naples"
we left at intermission. a first for us at the huntington! set and costumes brilliant but the play was boring and repetitious and predictable. the humor had little intellect or wit. how dare one comment compares it to shakepseare!
a disappointment from a theatre company that has never before disappointed during our five years as subscribers.

Anonymous said...

Sadly we wonder why we have renewed our subscription for next year. We found this year to be a largre disappointment and the Miracle of Naples pointless.

Anonymous said...

We like to laugh so yes, we enjoyed the show. The acting was great, the set was wonderful and play was new, less mainstream than usual. Thanks, keep up the good work!!

Anonymous said...

We were terribly disappointed by "Miracle". My husband left after the first act; I stayed, in the hope it would redeem itself, but was disappointed. There are so many ways to infer and convey humor and sexuality without having to be so crass, and the language could easily have been so much more inspiring. Sorry. We felt it was a total waste of time and money.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with bawdy humor or bad language, these weren't really the things that bothered me. This is just a really weak script and the actors seemed to be pushing like crazy, as if they knew the jokes weren't that great. Why does the nurse give Flaminia sex advice and is then horrified when she takes it? By the time we hit the commedia scene at the end of act 2, I was just embarrassed for everyone up there. It's such a shame when you see all that money up there in the set, costumes, ect, all to dress up something that wasn't very good to begin with.

Elaine said...

I loved it and so did the people around me and we were all a bit leary of the bawdy description. It was really very very funny, and extremely entertaining which is why I go to the theatre.

Anonymous said...

This play was uninteresting and poorly written.
It was not entertaining at all and just plain stupid.
Usually, the Huntington Theatre has wonderful productions but The Miracle at Naples was a let down.

Anonymous said...

Not oneof my better evenings at the Huntington. I would guess that this play will have a rather short shelf life. I didn't find it bawdy, I found it rather vulgar and very ho-hum.

Anonymous said...

The Miracle at Naples has reached a new low in what I expected as a long time subscriber. It was even worse than Betty's Summer Vacation. I don't go to the juvenile, sophmoric movies where every other word is F. It's not that I don't use the word some time but when I do it's rare and in private.
The premise of the play was humorous, it was well acted and had great scenery. But it was dull, repetitious and not stimulating. I left during half time, thinking that it would not get better.
Please consider future productions more carefully and avoid tasteless, coarse humor.

Anonymous said...

We went with some friends and all the play was pretty lousy. The folks in front of left at intermission along with several others nearby. The play didn't get any better after intermission so they missed nothing!

The only thing going for this play was the set was really well done. Congrats to the set designers.

Acting was so-so, but generally it was the direction along with a bad script/play! Should have saved our money.

Alexander said...

I enjoyed the show very much. There is one theory that the essence of commedy is that bridges the gaps and makes us whole. the bawdiness of the place was a part of that strategy and the end result was very humanistic.
thank you for a wonderful eveninhg of theatre.

Anonymous said...

Overall disappointing. As usual with the Huntington, the acting and set design are fantastic. The weak link is the script, which is fairly amateur and gives the impression of being a rough draft at best...basically one wonders if it was written to "pay off the summer house." It is neat to see a play staged in the manner of the original tenor of Shakespeare's works. The "play within a play" near the end did not work at all. Overall I would agree with comments below that the actors did the best job they could with a sophomoric script.